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Pitfalls & Protections in Licensing Agreements
Wood, Herron & Evans LLP
C-Cap Angel Capital Hub
December 13, 2011
11:45am – 1:30pm
The Cincinnatian Hotel
This course has been approved by the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Continuing Legal Education for 1.0 total CLE hour instruction.
“Pitfalls and Protections in Licensing Agreements” will be presented by Thomas McGrath, former General Manager of the Hasbro Inc. Global Toy Group, and James Kipling, former Vice President Business and Legal Affairs of Hasbro, Inc. Over a ten (10) year period, Messrs. McGrath and Kipling collaborated in developing and implementing strategies for the acquisition of many of the most successful and most “toy-etic” licensed properties that have appeared in the toy and game industry, including: entertainment properties such as the Star Wars Trilogies, the DC Comics Superheroes, and the Jurassic Park series; professional and collegiate teams indicia and players, such as MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL; and NASCAR and its principal Driver Teams.
Basic deal structures will be described, and ten (10) cases involving specific provisions of agreements will be illustrated with “dos and don’ts” that can separate good agreements from potentially disastrous ones. Mr. McGrath will give business overviews, while Mr. Kipling will describe negotiation and drafting techniques.
Tom McGrath, founder and president of TMG Consulting, is a toy/children’s entertainment executive with over 25 years of experience in the industry. After receiving some great classical marketing training and experience in brand management at P&G, Tom began a 16 year career with Kenner/Hasbro. He spent much of the ‘90s as the head of their Cincinnati-based Boys Toy Division, helping that group grow its sales six-fold behind brands such as Star Wars, Batman, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Jurassic Park, Pokemon, Nerf, Tonka, etc. In the late ‘90s Tom was promoted to General Manager of the entire Hasbro Toy Group, extending his responsibilities to include the preschool and girls areas, with brands such as Playskool, Bob the Builder, and Play-doh.
In late 2000 Tom left Hasbro in order to found TMG Consulting, a firm dedicated to helping toy and children’s entertainment companies with their strategic, marketing, product development, property development, and licensing needs. Tom’s business focuses on toy consulting, entertainment consulting, and conducting seminars to help clients stay current with industry trends and to help train their personnel in key areas within the toy industry.
Jim Kipling is Of Counsel with Wood, Herron & Evans. Jim was Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs for the Hasbro, Inc. Kenner Division for 20 years and subsequently has been in private practice for 10 years. He has negotiated master merchandising License Agreements resulting in cumulative product sales in excess of $6.5 billion, with all major entertainment studios and other licensors for such properties as Star Wars Trilogies, Marvel Universe, Disney Library, Dreamworks Animation Library, Batman, Jurassic Park, Care Bears, Pokemon, as well as establishing strategic relationships with all major professional sports leagues and players’ associations, NASCAR, its driver teams and sponsors.
Jim was responsible for all legal and intellectual property aspects of product, packaging and advertising development for Kenner/Hasbro, with particular attention to patent, trademark, copyright and children’s advertising issues. He also supervised the procurement, policing and enforcement of the company’s intellectual property rights, and all transactional and regulatory issues for the $650 million Kenner Division. Prior to Hasbro, Jim was a patent attorney with General Electric Co. for three years in the company’s Aircraft Engine Division, prior to joining Kenner/Hasbro. Jim has represented public and private companies as well as individuals, including manufacturers, publishers, and inventors in all of his areas of expertise. Making good use of his engineering background, Jim also handles inventorship transactions and technology transfers for a variety of clients.
Cancellations will not be accepted without a 24 hour notice.